Quick Beauty Queries Vol. 1, No. Six

Hi, Belle,

I have yet to find an everyday sunscreen or sunscreen/moisturizer combo that I like. Most are sticky, greasy, smelly, or all three. Any suggestions?

Thanks ~Manuela

The only sunscreen and moisturizer duo that I’ve ever used and liked was Sephora’s 8-Hour Mattifying Moisturizer.  Usually I prefer not to mix the two, for some of the reasons you mentioned.

Instead I use Supergoop’s Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen separately from my usual moisturizer.  It’s light, good for sensitive skin and has SPF 40.


My hairdryer is on its last legs, and I think its time to invest in one that can dry my hair faster (it takes about 20 minutes even after some time in a turbi-towel) and some how do less damage.  Does such a miracle dryer exist?  Are the super spendy models worth the price?  Any recommendations to keep my mane tame and sleek?

Thanks.  CB

I use the Harry Josh blowdryer.  It’s small, lightweight, and amazing.  When I have to use hotel hair dryers, I’m reminded how remarkable it is.  It isn’t cheap, but it is worth it.

Hi Belle,

I’m trying to step up my beauty routine and I recently tried Eve Lom’s cleanser in a sample. I really loved the product, but looking at the price tag scares me a little – $50 1.6 oz. Have you tried this brand before? Is it worth the splurge? What are the benefits of the muslin cloth?

Thanks! MA

I have tried the Eve Lom cleanser.  I didn’t like the strong smell.  A bit too old lady for me.

There are plenty of “melting” cleansers that aren’t as pricey.  Boscia Makeup Breakup and Ole Henriksen Pure Truth come to mind.  For a drugstore version, try Boots No. 7.

The best thing about Eve Lom is this instructional video for how to wash your face with a muslin cloth.  I buy inexpensive muslin face cloths from Amazon and just use the Eve Lom technique.  No need for the fancy cleanser.

Dear Belle,

You seem to buy a lot of makeup and skincare products.  Is there one you’ve tried that lived up to the hype?  I feel like bloggers usually make a big deal out of every new product and then you never hear a word about it again.  What sticks?


I do buy a lot of products.  I also get free samples with my purchases at Sephora, Ulta, etc..  And every now and again, someone will send me something for free.  As you mentioned, however, the test of what’s good is what you buy a second time, third, or 45th time.

Products I can’t quit include:



  1. Jenn S. says:

    For Manuela: You sound like a kindred spirit to me. I was having a hell of a time finding a sunscreen that was the magical combination of effective, non-irritating, non-smelly, and non-sticky. For me, the answer is Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++. This is from Biore’s Asian division and it. is. outstanding. No gross smell, it isn’t thick, it doesn’t leave a white cast, I could ramble on. Asia’s approach to sunscreen is superior, in my opinion, to our own. You can find it, and similar sunscreens, on Amazon (via 3rd party sellers; my advice is to order one that is fulfilled by Amazon if possible).

    I plan on trying the Boots no. 7 melting cleanser soon, I’m kind of excited.

    Lastly, Belle – as for the Luna, do you find that it does a sufficient job cleaning pores?

    October 13, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I do. I also like that it’s silicon, so less bacteria growth. I still Clarisonic some, but not as much.

      October 13, 2015/Reply
    • sherry @ save. spend. splurge. says:

      For something cheaper and more local, try Paula’s Choice Resist SPF 40 Anti-aging sunscreen (if you use that referral link you get $10 off)

      it is light, not sticky, barely any smell, SPF 40 and AMAZING. Like water on your skin.

      I have never tried a better sunscreen than that.

      October 13, 2015/Reply
    • Saramel says:

      I am in love with Cotz SPF 40 in Natural Skin Tone. It was included in the Allure subscription box one month and I fell in love. I now keep at least one tube as back up because I don’t want to ever run out! It’s sheer, acts like a primer and helps smooth everything out. Best part for me is it’s physical sunscreen, zinc and titanium dioxide only. (I prefer not to use chemical SPF.)

      October 21, 2015/Reply
  2. Elizabeth says:

    For MA: The Eve Lom cleanser is absolutely not worth the price. I tried it and was not wowed. I looked around at Sephora to compare prices and found that the largest Eve Lom cleanser was about $20/oz., while Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm (very highly spoken-of) was just under $8/oz. If you want something more natural REN makes a cleansing balm and a hot-cloth cleanser (in a pump bottle instead of a jar, yay!) that are just over $9/oz. and $5.50/oz. respectively. Cleansing balms or hot-cloth cleansers are kind of a UK thing, so there are also some “drugstore” options from Boots.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  3. Megan says:

    For the sunscreen I don’t know if you’re looking for face or body, but I’m obsessed with Banana Boat’s hydrate and protect for my body for every day. You don’t feel it on your skin, and most importantly it doesn’t smell like sunscreen. I LOVE it. I live in DC and commute by metro, so I like to be able to protect my skin every day without smelling like the beach. I don’t use it on my face, but it’s awesome for everywhere else 🙂

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  4. Rachel C says:

    I’ve spent years trying to find the perfect moisturizer and sunscreen/SPF combo. Finally, last year I discovered one that not only can I deal with but I really like. I swear by Bobbi Brown Hydrating Facial Cream and Bobbi Brown CC Cream with 35 SPF. It even saved my face this weekend at a football game that proved to be sunnier than expected. (My husband, however, is sporting a nice half faced burn.) I find that I need to wait a good 10 minutes after applying my moisturizer before using the CC cream, but that isn’t a problem because I moisturize while I dry my hair, so my face is ready for the CC cream when I’m ready to put on my makeup.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  5. HH says:

    For MA: I haven’t tried the Eve Lom cleanser, but I liked the Algenist melting cleanser more than the Ole Henrickson melting cleanser because I found that the Algenist dissolved my makeup better and seemed to rinse more cleanly. I would get a sample before committing to it, though. (Sephora should dram you one…)

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  6. TheLoop says:

    Belle, can you share more about your experience with Simple Micellar products? I bought the Micellar Water which people raved about online but either I am using it wrong or it is overhyped. After I use it, I still feel the need to use a regular cleanser to really feel clean. It’s supposed to be a substitute for cleaner right? Or is it some sort of after-cleansing toning product?

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  7. B. says:

    Try EltaMD UV Facial Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Plus, the tube version.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  8. Phoebe says:

    I totally second the Sephora mattifying sunscreen/moisturizer suggestion. I use it every day and like it quite well. I have combination skin.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  9. lesley says:

    I third the Sephora mattifying sunscreen/moisturizer! I have combination/oily skin and many sunscreen or dual products leave me greasy or very shiny. The Sephora product works really well and leaves my face grease/fairly shine free.

    Also, Sephora’s great return policy would allow you to try it and then return if it doesn’t work.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  10. sherry @ save. spend. splurge. says:

    For everyone:

    Try Paula’s Choice Resist SPF 40 Anti-aging sunscreen (if you use that referral link you get $10 off)

    it is light, not sticky, barely any smell, SPF 40 and AMAZING. Like water on your skin and it absorbs in with a nice mattifying feel.

    I have never tried a better sunscreen than that.

    I also think all cleansers are overrated, and will also recommend Paula’s Choice cleansers because they don’t dry out your skin & they WORK.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  11. Gabby says:

    I use the Supergoop! City Serum Sunscreen…it’s a light moisturizer as well as sunscreen and it’s not sticky or funny smelling. Love it.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  12. Karen says:

    I HATED the smell of the Eve Lom cleanser… I seriously wondered if I had gotten a bad product, it was so strong. Glad to hear I’m not the only one!

    Also, if I thought the product was that great I probably would have overlooked the smell. But its really nothing special – certainly not worth the price, in my opinion.

    October 13, 2015/Reply
  13. ALS says:

    For everyone – one product I love is the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 (without phenol). It is a toner / astringent / leave on lotion and by far, the best product for acne prone skin. A bit pricey but well worth it!

    October 14, 2015/Reply